Whenever the seasons change, I always feel like I have nothing to wear. This is a dangerous feeling, because it makes me buy impulsively. But when I look at what I actually need, would get great use out of, and what I would love for a long time, I make wiser choices–and save a ton of money. These round-ups are entirely comprised of super-cheap stuff, but try to balance some items that will last a while with the more inexpensive.
How to make some cheap wardrobe updates, with easy-to-incorporate items that will lighten up your closet and stay in rotation for future seasons…
A go-to dress is an easy answer to warm weather days, whether it’s thrown on over a swimsuit or belted up for a fancier occasion ($20). These cute french sneakers, perfect for traveling, are an investment that will last you through fall, and will stay in style for seasons to come ($55). The neutral color will also ensure you can and will wear them with everything. A cheap-o bikini that you can mix-and-match with tops or bottoms you already have would be a great addition if you’re not too hard on your suits ($5/piece). (Topshop also has fairly inexpensive separates, if you want to go a step up). The color of the season seems to be mint, so these little triangle studs would perk up any outfit ($7).
Here, the statement item would be fancy pants, so invest the most in a really pretty, comfy pair of printed trousers or silky shorts ($65/$63). You could probably even make the pants work for work. Okay, so you already have a plain white tee, but trust me, this is the PERFECT white tee, well worth the $15 for luxury-quality shape and stitching. It has a hint of a crop, and rolled sleeves, making it the kind of tee you can dress up or go tomboy with. Fun sunnies for brighter days and pretty, simple sandals will also bring you into summer ($10/$9).
Chambray works well as a lighter version of the button-up, but could also be layered with a sweater come fall ($34). Classic aviators will stay super sharp. A striped sock can perk up a look with a little rolled pant cuff ($5). And these sweet white sneakers feel both vintage ad modern to me, perfect for weekends.
Sock-less boat shoes are another way to go in the spring and summer, and with a classic palette, you can go colorful in other ways ($42). Try vibrant shorts and a striped tee ($30/$6). A pullover hoodie will keep you warm in beach-y winds or rainy spring nights ($20).
SAVING MONEY ON CLOTHES
- Buy things that are classic, or at least, classically you. Look hard at what in your wardrobe you still love after years of wear. Try to limit your purchases to things that you’ll still be excited to wear next year. If you want to try a trend, try it on the cheap.
- Relish the “I don’t need it.” A lot of us shop with an attitude of trying-to-find-something. Even if we don’t have a specify need in mind that we’re searching out, we’re looking to find something, and when we do, it feels like a win, at least for a minute. Try changing you attitude to one of more power. Look at merchandise as if it has to win you over. Be picky. Let the stuff compete for your love. Most of it…you don’t need it.
- Personalize your investments. A lot of us talk about “investment pieces” in universal terms–as if everyone needs a fancy handbag or expensive luggage. But really, it’s not the case for everyone. Look at what you use and need the most before allocating your pennies there. If you play water sports, you probably need to spend more than $10 on a swimsuit. If you’re hard on your shoes, $9 sandals may not cut it. Prioritize your “good stuff” according to how you live.
- Make-do and Mend. Anna says this a lot, and for good reason. Take good care of your stuff, and fix the clothes that need mending. Either sew or have a tailor tackle things that fit poorly. Even if you have to pay for it, it will still be a fraction of replacement costs.
What are your tips? Favorite shopping sources?
Lauren Johnson is a filmmaker/producer living in West Hollywood who enjoys a great foreign thriller, leisure beers, and non-primary colors. She also writes the blog LOCONCEPTS.